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Tokyo: Shibuya club raided for allowing dancing in violation of law

Haruki Shimizu
Haruki Shimizu of Aoyama Hachi (Twitter)

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Sunday raided a club in Shibuya Ward for allowing customers to dance until morning in an atmosphere that violated the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses, the first bust since the law was amended two years ago, reports Sankei Sports (Jan. 29).

At just past 2:00 a.m., police entered club Aoyama Hachi, located on National Route 246, and found violations related to the provided floor space, the establishment of a DJ booth and the provision of alcohol.

Police subsequently arrested manager Yutaka Goto, 47, assistant manager Haruki Shimizu, 28, and one other person. All three suspects admit to the allegations. “I indicated where to place the table and chairs,” Goto was quoted. “It is a fact that the business was illegal.”

According police, the club was warned previously regarding the violations. However, the club’s operations continued unchanged and without permission from the Tokyo branch of the National Public Safety Commission.

Revised adult-entertainment law

In 2016, an amendment of the adult-entertainment law went into effect that allowed dance clubs to operate until 5 a.m. under a number of conditions, including that alcohol not be served and that floor space be at least 33 square meters.

Other provisions require interior lighting to be at least 10 lumens per square meter — roughly the brightness of an illuminated city street — and that the location of the club is not in a residential area.

According to TV Asahi (Jan. 29), nearby residents of Aoyama Hachi had lodged complaints about noise. The club accumulated 135 million yen in revenue since August of 2013.

The bust is the first nationwide since the amendment to the law, police said.